Knowing the best time to hire an editor can be tricky, especially for new authors. Added to this is the difficulty of knowing what kind of service you require and at what stage in the writing process to engage a professional.
“Books aren’t written – they’re rewritten.” ~Michael Crichton
The first draft of your manuscript is unlikely to be a publishable book in its current form. Even the best writers write Crappy First Drafts. Most often, your writing will require a great deal of refining and rewriting before it is considered ready for publication…but how do you know when it is time to hire an editor?
“Writing is a lot like carpentry, hammering and sawing and sanding.” ~Thomas E. Ricks
Four potential author stages
(knowing when it is time to hire an editor):
- I’ve written a draft manuscript and have no idea where to go from here or how I take my manuscript to the next level.
- Great work! You really should celebrate, have some people (other than family and friends) read what you’ve written and give you feedback, and have a go at rewriting. When you’ve done as much as you can, it can be useful to have a manuscript assessment. Link to my website
- I’ve written a manuscript and reworked it as much as I can, but think there are still some key issues to be resolved.
- By now you have enough sense of the ‘work’ to realise when you have done as much as you can…more even. Perhaps you just can’t bring yourself to look at it again, but you know there is still big picture issues yet to be resolved. You just can’t see the forest for the trees.
- I’ve written a manuscript and resolved the big issues, but know that some detailed fine-tuning is still needed.
- You have rewritten your manuscript many times and you have resolved all the major issues in the text, but you still feel there is something still not quite right or not quite convincing with the writing itself or with aspects of the writing.
- I’ve written a manuscript and it is just about ready for print.
- It just needs a final going over to clean it up and to ensure there are no errors.
“One of the best things about being published is having the opportunity to craft and polish your work with the aid of an experienced, sensitive professional.” ~Ian Irvine
Is it time to hire an editor?